Is corn tricking us into making ethanol?

We (humans) tend to see ourselves as having dominion over nature. We take and destroy when we cut down trees and harvest crops. But here's a question: What if, like with bees, plants are actually using us and they are getting more out of the farming relationship than we do? Take ethanol production from corn, which we know to be very inefficient when compared with other sources. It's always assumed Americans do it because of an accident of presidential politics, history of farming in America, economics of farming, etc. What if corn is manipulating us into making ethanol to perpetuate its genes and increase its habitat?
That's a theory of Michael Pollan, author of the 2001 book The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World and the speaker at a recent TED talk (you can watch is after the jump). Ten minutes into the talk, Mike says "We are all now being manipulated by corn. And the talk you heard about ethanol earlier today, to me, is the final triumph of corn over good sense. It's part of corn's scheme for world domination." We assume we are the greatest species and consciousness is the apex, but ethanol just might be the best proof that corn is ruling us.

[Source: Ted via Treehugger]

The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Share This Photo X